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Shell in top 3 of gamblers in high-risk tar sands investments

Shell ranked third in the list of oil companies with the largest exposure to high-cost, high-carbon tar sands production, according to a new report. The analysis found that Shell has almost $26 billion (€19 billion) in planned investments in tar sands extraction for the next decade, which will only see a return if the barrel of oil costs more than $95 – a price tag that assumes world governments won’t fulfil their pledge to tackle global warming and strong oil demand.

Does throwing money at buyers help sales of electric cars?

Norway and the Netherlands are the world’s leading countries for electric car use, but also the countries that spend most money making e-vehicles attractive to buyers. These are the findings of a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) on the take-up of electric vehicles. T&E says the report shows that money alone will not grow the electric car market.

Climate change report wake-up call to America

A new report showing what effect climate change is having on the US has been published by the Obama administration. Some environmental groups hope it will make the American political climate more receptive to action to reduce greenhouse gases, but environmental action still faces considerable opposition.

Potential for biomass overestimated – studies

The amount of biomass available for energy is likely to be a lot less than previously thought. Two new studies have suggested the Commission has overestimated the amount of land that will be usable for energy crops, at least without displacing food or damaging habitats, and the demand for wood as an energy source will probably outstrip the amount that can be safely and sustainably extracted from European forests.

Car CO2 emissions drop 4%, but test manipulation at play

Carbon dioxide missions from new cars sold in the EU decreased almost 4% in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to provisional data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). But T&E has warned that the official figures do not match up on the road. While progress has been made by carmakers, flaws in the emissions test exaggerate the improvements, it is claimed.

How to make transport policies healthier, wealthier and wiser

One of the frustrations of EU transport policy is the relentless focus on the internal market as the one-and-only justification for setting standards, introducing rules or spending money. It leaves us all short-changed. On the rare occasion that ‘Brussels’ tries to make suggestions for cities’ or regions’ transport policies to improve air quality, safety or health, the spectre of ‘subsidiarity’ spooks everyone and the idea vanishes.

Will EU governments stand in the way of world’s safest lorries?

New rules for lorry design, which campaigners hope will reduce fuel consumption and emissions and save hundreds of lives, have been accepted almost unanimously by the full European Parliament. For the first time, MEPs also called for the introduction of fuel efficiency standards for lorries. But these proposed rules, which must now be agreed by EU member states, face opposition from national transport ministers seeking to shield some lorry makers from innovation.

Aviation emissions trading slashed by 75% until 2017

Long-haul flights to and from Europe will continue to be excluded from the EU emissions trading system (ETS) after MEPs voted last month to accept a compromise brokered with EU governments. The agreement means that, until 2017, only flights between EU airports will be regulated – a 75% cut in emissions covered compared with the original ETS.

Transport emissions to double by 2050, IPCC concludes

Without action, global CO2 emissions from transport are projected to double by 2050, the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has concluded. But ‘aggressive and sustained’ measures, including fuel carbon and energy intensity improvements, as well as infrastructure development can change the trendline and lead to a CO2 reduction of 15-40% instead.

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